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author’s note:

Happy Halloween!


Voices from unseen revelers echo
down this shadowy street—

the words unclear—distorted:

sounds from alien beings.

Now I don’t feel so safe
on this porch

but that’s alright—
I don’t want to feel safe tonight.

The echoes drum my wall.

The echoes thrill my belly.

Those aliens have invaded me!

But that’s alright—
I don’t want to feel safe tonight.

The echoes linger long within

then suddenly…nothing
—not a sound inside or out.

Now I see the perfect world again—
I’m as deep and as dark and as bright
as that witching-hour sky.

If everyone is alien
then so am I

and that’s alright:
I want to be an alien tonight.

© 2017, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog


birds nest ear 366w - January 4, 2014s

author’s note:

In olden times, people believed the souls of humans took up habitation in birds, upon death.

I’d prefer the soul of bird to take up habitation in me, while I’m still alive.


Such generosity from that bird:

offering me its golden-throated warbling
for the purpose of healing my ears
—my heart

then building a nest
to demonstrate
how beautiful vessels
though delicately suspended
can defy the storm.

I respond to its fretful notes:

the bird sings of a life precarious.

I respond to its strong tones—

the bird tells us:
I will feel the pain of this fear
and create a song of love.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
listening to silence: the book

head pole - September 28, 2014s

author’s note:

To be clear: those aren’t pineapples in the picture above.


I put a pole in the center of my home

not to hold the ceiling in place
but to hold me in place:

any time I felt uncertain
I would steady myself against the pole.

I always felt secure while clasping
that smooth solid natural wood.

When the storm collapsed the roof
I simply propped the pole back up
and again felt at one—

even when I was forced
out of my house
I could think of the pole
and again feel stable.

Now, as a nomad
I sit down at night by the campfire
and stick a twig in the ground
and tell myself: that is the pole.

Even if they catch me
even if they beat me
even if they stand me
before a firing squad
I will remember the pole
and not feel lost.

Perhaps you’ll say
I merely seek something tangible
to reconnect me
to my inner strength

I guess that’s so…and yet
there’s more to my response:

whenever I envision that pillar
I also sense a force much greater
than what is contained within
the confines of my small cell.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
listening to silence: poems of meditation

here we are - January 26, 2014s

author’s note:

Perhaps I should title this poem, “A Little Stone Listens to its Big Stone”.


I’m told a big stone
under our world.

Supposedly this spinning foundation
keeps the Earth from falling
down through space—

from descending
into a black void—
forever lost—forever alone
in the darkest depths.

I suppose we need to feel
supported by such a colossus
as our temples collapse
and the prescriptions we write
turn out to be placebos…

but this story doesn’t help me much
when I begin to think
because then it’s hard to believe
in the steady stone

and so, I often walk in fear

until doubt finally overwhelms me
and I fall down in the dark…

but such a collapse returns me
to the silence in which I can sense
that round grindstone turning
somewhere down there—

a subtle sensation
yet strong enough to give me strength
as I intuit its solid security

though at the same time
I’m quite intimidated
by the relentless power
of its revolution…

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
dreaming steps

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